Second day announcements and thoughts from Build 2016

Second day announcements and thoughts from Build 2016

(This blog post is being updated during the keynote, last updated 31st of March, 10:50 am PDT)

Today is the second day of Build 2016 in San Francisco. I wrote about my travel and first day in another post.

Expectations for this day are high, as yesterday’s keynote was somewhat a let-down. There were good bits, but not the usual wow-effect people have come to expect from an event like this. A lot of the stuff that was shown was either previously released and marketing hype was strong during the talks.

Second day keynote

Keynote starts, as expected, with Scott Guthrie on Azure. I really like his style, as it’s very Finnish-like to me: straight to the point, and no fluff-talk.

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85 % of Fortune 500 companies use Azure. That is impressive! 5 million organizations are using Azure Active Directory, and over 120 000 new Azure customer subscriptions are enrolled each month.

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Xamarin was purchased by Microsoft in February, so there’s a lot of anticipation from people that licensing would change (as in included with existing MSDN subscriptions), and that Xamarin innovations would be more closely aligned with Visual Studio “15.” Miguel de Icaza is now on stage to demonstrate Xamarin for building mobile apps.

He’s building a mobile app that runs on iPhone. The app shows a map with the longitude. The app actually runs on an emulated iPhone 4s iOS 9.2 environment, which looks very snappy! Even pinch-zoom works.

For pricing: Xamarin is now available for Visual Studio Enterprise and Professional for no extra charge! And also for community edition, which is very nice for people not able to get the full Visual Studio license. MSDN subscribers will get Xamarin studio for OS X, and a free Mac-based free edition will be available.

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Xamarin runtime will be open sourced also. Xamarin Test Cloud will be integrated with Visual Studio Team Services, providing end-to-end mobile lifecycle solution.

See additional Xamarin announcement here.

Unity, JetBrains and Red Hat are joinig as members of .NET Foundation.

In case you happen to own a relatively new BMW, you can download their new IoT solution BMW Connected today. I wonder how much BMW 750 goes for today..

Azure Functions Preview goes live now. This is a platform for reacting to events, and acting upon those – think IoT and business integration processes. Azure Functions start with a set of pre-defined templates, such as triggering based on changes in Azure Blob Storage. This is like Azure WebJobs on steroids with a graphical design interface.

Azure VM Scale Sets are GA now. This is a solution for autoscaling VMs in Azure for high availability.

Azure IoT updates include Azure IoT Starter Kits, Azure IoT Hub Device Management preview and Azure IoT Gateway SDK.

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Azure Microservices next, with Scott Hanselman doing his comedy/presentation – always great!

Azure Service Fabric is now GA. See all Azure announcements in the official blog here.

DocumentDB gets some more love: pricing and scaling are refreshed, as well as global databases for building highly available global apps. DocumentDB protocol support for MongoDB was also unveiled.

Power BI next! Power BI Embedded is now available, it’s based on Azure and simply requires you to use Power BI SDK to embed data to your apps. Pricing is based on usage, not a monthly fixed fee like in Office 365.

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It seems Power BI Embedded is like the previously released publish to web, but with more controls and capabilities. The preview is free until May 1st.

Moving on to Office 365, productivity and data.

Li Qu: In our modern world, data is the new oil

Office has 1,2 billion users, and 85 % of Fortune 500 companies have at least one Microsoft cloud offering in use. The three developer opportunities are

  • building intelligent apps by connecting to Office services
  • Make Office apps
  • Engage users through conversations

A bit of marketing-like hype here, but it’s understandable – so much has happened in Office 365 lately that it’s important to rehash what’s already there and where things are moving. Microsoft Graph is the core and key here. Nothing new here so far, as Microsoft Graph has been around for quite some time now. It’s available at

Office add-in support for Office 2016 for Mac was announced. This was a bit overdue so great to finally have the add-ins on OS X as well! New and updated Office Developer Tools are also released.

All Office 365 announcements are listed here. First, there’s the Office 365 Group Connectors that were announced last week but still, they are announced now for a wider audience. Second, Skype for Business Web & mobile SDK is released.

And that’s it for the keynote!


And here are the announcements I tracked from today’s keynote:



Visual Studio

Internet of Things

Office 365

  • Office add-in support for Office 2016 for Mac
  • Updated Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio
  • Skype for Business Web & Mobile SDK is released